Pentagon official says there are ‘no indications’ a Russian nuclear strike is imminent

According to the Washington Examiner, Pentagon officials said this week that there are no indications Russia is planning to use nuclear weapons in its war with neighboring Ukraine.  

“We’ve seen no indications that the use of nuclear weapons is in play or is imminent in any way,” an unnamed senior Defense Department figure was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

Constant monitoring and deterrence in place

“We watch this as closely as we can every single day,” the official continued, adding, “And as you’ve heard me say before, we’re confident that we have the right strategic deterrent posture in place.”

That assessment was echoed by Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, who insisted that the United States monitors “virtually every day, particularly in light of the escalatory rhetoric that Mr. Putin voiced in the early days of this war.”

The former Navy admiral went on to insist that the evidence suggests there is “no reason to change our strategic deterrent posture.”

However, those comments seem to be at variance with remarks made during a speech last week by CIA Director William Burns.

CIA chief says U.S. can’t “take lightly” the potential for nuclear conflict

The Examiner noted that Burns told listeners at Georgia Tech that a frustrated Vladimir Putin may see nuclear weapons as a way to reverse battlefield losses.

“Given the potential desperation of President Putin and the Russian leadership, given the setbacks that they’ve faced so far militarily, none of us can take lightly the threat posed by a potential resort to tactical nuclear weapons or low-yield nuclear weapons,” he was quoted as saying.

While the CIA chief acknowledged that there has thus far been little in the way of “practical evidence” that Russia is planning to deploy weapons of mass destruction, the potential for it doing so is being taken seriously.

“We’re obviously very concerned,” Burns said. “ I know President Biden is deeply concerned about avoiding a third world war, about avoiding a threshold in which, you know, nuclear conflict becomes possible.”

Meanwhile, Fox News reported on Tuesday that Russian forces are about to embark on a new offensive in eastern Ukraine.

“Another stage of this operation [in eastern Ukraine] is beginning and I am sure this will be a very important moment of this entire special operation,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was quoted as saying.

 

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